Powerful typhoon kills 5 in northern Philippines

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Typhoon Noru exploded in the northern Philippines on Monday, killing five rescuers, causing flooding and power outages and forcing officials to suspend classes and government work in the capital. and peripheral provinces.

The most powerful typhoon to hit the country this year hit the coast in the city of Burdeos, Quezon province, before nightfall on Sunday, then weakened as it roared overnight in the main region of Luzon, where thousands of people have been moved to emergency shelters, some by force, officials. said.

Governor Daniel Fernando of Bulacan province, north of Manila, said five rescuers, who were using a boat to help residents trapped in floodwaters, were hit by a collapsed wall and then apparently drowned in the raging waters .

“They were living heroes who were helping to save the lives of our compatriots in the midst of this calamity,” Fernando told DZMM radio. “It’s really very sad.”

On Polillo Island in northeastern Quezon province, a man was injured after falling from the roof of his house, officials said.

More than 17,000 people have been moved to emergency shelters from high-risk communities prone to tidal waves, flooding and landslides in Quezon alone, officials said.

More than 3,000 people were evacuated to safety in Metro Manila, which was battered by strong wind and rain overnight. Classes and government work were suspended in the capital and outlying provinces on Monday as a precautionary measure although morning skies were sunny.

All of the northern provinces of Aurora and Nueva Ecija, which were hit by the typhoon, were left without power on Monday and repair crews were at work restoring power, the energy secretary said. Raphael Lotilla to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. during a televised meeting he called to assess damages and coordinate disaster response.

Marcos Jr. praised officials for safely evacuating thousands of people as a precautionary measure ahead of the typhoon which prevented large numbers of casualties despite the potentially disastrous strength of the Noru.

Noru underwent “explosive intensification” over the open Pacific Ocean before hitting the Philippines, Vicente Malano, who heads the country’s weather agency, told The Associated Press on Sunday.

Sustained winds of 85 kilometers per hour (53 mph) on Saturday, Noru was a super typhoon just 24 hours later with sustained winds of 195 kilometers (121 miles per hour) and gusts of up to 240 km/h ( 149 mph) at its peak late Sunday.

As of Monday morning, Noru had experienced winds of 140 km/h (87 mph) and gusts of 170 km/h (105 mph) and was moving west into the South China Sea at 30 km/h (19 mph). ), according to the weather agency.

About 20 storms and typhoons hit the Philippines every year. The archipelago also lies within the “Pacific Ring of Fire”, a region along much of the circumference of the Pacific Ocean where numerous volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur, making the nation of Asia Southeast one of the most disaster-prone in the world.

In 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful tropical cyclones recorded in the world, left more than 7,300 people dead or missing, leveled entire villages, swept ships inland and displaced more than 5 million of people in the central Philippines – well south of Noru’s path.

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Associated Press reporter Joeal Calupitan contributed to this report

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